Expectation

If the question, What are you expecting at this moment? should suddenly be asked of a large concourse of people and each one was compelled to give an absolutely honest answer, there would doubtless be a collection of chaff and wheat which might require much winnowing, and probably very little wheat would be left when the process was finished. Many of those questioned would probably be astonished when confronted by that which they found themselves half unconsciously expecting, and would earnestly wish it had been otherwise. The things which from earliest childhood we have been carefully trained to expect, are not pleasant to contemplate,—disease, disaster, failure, deceit, and their kind. Even the pleasures which were not withheld had usually a note of warning thrown in as to some danger lurking about, ready to pounce upon the unwary. These very pleasures were to be found solely along material lines, things which could be reported only through the medium of the five senses, while through these same channels might be communicated suffering as well.

The old adage that what we look for we are apt to find, has become a truism, and that of itself should teach us all to look well to the quality of our hopes and expectations. The dictionary defines expectation as "looking forward with certainty," an added reason why we should be on guard continually as to what we expect, since it is thus coupled in our belief with fulfilment. With pitiful readiness mortals constantly expect evil in various forms. They predict direful happenings and accept and believe they will come to pass. Prophesy disaster, want, and woe, and this sort of reply will generally be forthcoming: "I know it;" "I suppose so;" "Just what I expected." These same people would be quite likely to oppose vigorously any suggestion of good or happiness on the ground that it was too good to be true. Yet good is really the only thing that is, was, or ever will be true.

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The Church Organ
May 20, 1916
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